A dental bridge is the traditional treatment option for tooth loss. The dental prosthesis can replace a few missing teeth or a single lost tooth. Sometimes called a partial denture, a bridge will fit between the existing natural teeth. It attaches to your real teeth on either side of the space where your missing tooth once was. This forms a new “bridge” over the gap in your smile for an attractive, natural-looking result.
Dechter & Moy Dentistry provides dental bridges in Silver Spring, MD near you for lost teeth. Our dentist office also offers permanent, secure bridges that anchor to dental implants. This is the most stable and lasting option. An implant-secured bridge offers key benefits for your long term oral health, such as:
- Reduces bone loss in the jaw: Using implants will help to retain natural bone structure by replacing the lost tooth root.
- Secure result: Dental implants will provide the natural chewing ability and enable confident speech.
- Preserves natural teeth: Using dental implants means that your dentist will not need to degrade existing teeth to accommodate the new bridge.
We will discuss the most suitable options for your health and cosmetic needs. Additionally, we will review all aspects of the treatment so that you can make an informed decision. As a team, we take time with our patients to get to know you, understand your unique needs, and provide the dentistry that will meet your needs and your expectations.
The Dental Bridge Process: What to Expect
The traditional dental bridge process begins with an evaluation by one of our dentists. During this visit, we will determine whether a tooth replacement prosthesis is right for you and go over your options. The consultation will establish your needs, goals, and a personalized treatment plan to address them. Key elements that we need to consider are:
- The health of your smile
- The condition of your bone in the jaw
- Your cosmetic goals and desires
- The location of the missing tooth or teeth
- Any medical conditions or medications that may impact your ability to heal
If our dentist determines that a traditional bridge will best suit your needs, we will begin treatment. Placing a dental bridge on existing teeth will take about 2-3 visits. First, our dentist will need to prepare the anchor teeth, or teeth that will hold the bridge in place.
After he prepares the anchor teeth, he will take dental impressions to use to create the custom-fitted appliance. We will send these impressions to a lab where they will use Dr. Dechter or Dr. Moy’s specific instructions for your tooth color, shape, and overall dimensions to make the bridge. Our team may provide you with a temporary bridge so that you have full function of your teeth while you wait for your new bridge.
Next, we will call you back into our office once we receive the final prosthetic from the dental lab. The final visit will be the placement of the bridge. Your dentist will make adjustments for comfort and proper bite function. You will leave our office will a full set of teeth and a beautiful smile!
If we are using dental implants to secure your dental bridge, we will schedule the surgical implantation of the post first. This phase will require a healing period of several months so that the post can fuse with the jaw bone in a process known as osseointegration. After your mouth heals, your dentist will place the dental bridge and permanently secure it to the dental implants.
Dental Bridge FAQs
There are a number of questions you may have about dental bridges. Our restorative dentist is happy to answer any questions you may have or schedule an appointment for a consultation. The following are some frequent questions about dental bridge treatment.
Is a dental bridge removable?
This depends on the type of bridge you get. Dentists cement traditional bridges in place. This means you will be unable to take it out. Only a dentist can remove it. However, if you have a temporary bridge, you will be able to take it in and out.
How do you clean under a dental bridge?
Flossing around a bridge is the best way to clean it. Using the floss between the gum and the base of the bridge is a good way to remove any plaque buildup between the gum line and the bridge. Maneuvering floss all the way around the bridge and being sure to move the floss in an up and down motion is a great way to clean under your bridge.
Can you bridge front teeth?
Bridges are very common for front teeth. Typically, dentists will use traditional bridges here. They are very successful for front teeth because front teeth take on less pressure than other teeth.
Can a tooth get infected under a bridge?
Yes, teeth can become infected under a bridge. If you practice good oral care with bridges your teeth will not become infected. This includes going to the dentist for a professional teeth cleaning every six months.
Can I get a dental bridge if I have gum disease?
If you have periodontal disease, your dentist may recommend that you undergo treatment for it before a dental bridge procedure. If you do not receive proper care for your gums, there is the risk of infection which could spread to the bridgework’s supporting teeth.
Dental Bridge vs. Dental Implant: What To Consider
If you have a single tooth to replace, it is important to consider replacing it with a dental implant. In addition to the benefits mentioned above, using a dental implant is the best way to get back a natural looking smile. There is no need to use abutment teeth to support an appliance which often results in weakening and damaging the teeth. Your dentist will not need to touch your remaining healthy teeth if using dental implants.
The implant process will require a larger investment of time and money upfront. However, the long-term benefits and results will outweigh these factors.